The Straits Times
Published on Jan 22, 2013

EU states get blessing for financial trading tax


BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - Germany, France and nine other euro zone countries got a go-ahead on Tuesday to implement a tax on trading, despite the reservations of financial centres, such as London and Luxembourg, that are worried it could drive business out of Europe.

European Union finance ministers gave their approval at a meeting in Brussels, allowing 11 states to pursue a financial transactions tax.

The 11 are: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Portugal, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The levy, based on an idea proposed by United States economist James Tobin more than 40 years ago but little considered since, is symbolically important in showing that politicians, who have fumbled their way through five years of financial crisis, are getting to grips with the banks blamed for causing it.